Clijsters: “The most important lesson for me, is to just kind of trust the process”
Last Updated: 09/07/20 11:26am
Kim Clijsters said she remains determined to revive her career after years away from tennis, even as the coronavirus outbreak seeds uncertainty in the schedule.
Four-time Grand Slam winner Clijsters made her latest comeback after nearly eight years away from the sport at the start of 2020, but her return was put on abrupt hold in March due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Former world No 1 Clijsters and 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens are among the headliners as World Team Tennis (WTT) kicks off its three-week regular season on Sunday, at the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia.
Clijsters, who spent part of the coronavirus hiatus in New Jersey and part in her native Belgium, told reporters that the interruption has not diminished her desire to be on the court.
It was challenging but at the same time you get through that together.
Kim Clijsters on lockdown
“The most important lesson for me, is to just kind of trust the process,” said 37-year-old Clijsters, who lost to British No 1 Johanna Konta in the first round of the Monterrey Open four months ago.
“It doesn’t mean because COVID happened that I’m not interested in playing more tennis.
“There are some challenges and combining parenting at home and teaching the kids at home and still going to practice and things like that, so it was challenging but at the same time you get through that together.”
WTT has several precautions in place to minimise the risk of COVID-19 exposure, with all players and staff having self-quarantined for two weeks in the United States. Players must also undergo testing and have daily temperature checks.
No more than 500 fans are allowed at the Greenbrier’s 2,500-seat stadium, Center Court at Creekside, and all are required to wear masks and undergo temperature checks.
“I feel like I can protect myself the best I can,” Stephens said. “I can protect others by following what the protocols are and the guidelines and just make sure that I’m following all the rules so I don’t harm anyone else or myself.”